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Act as if our house is on fire
That would be proportionate, Prime Minister.
It's the Prime Minister's use of the word "proportionate" that gets me every time.
His assertion that "reaching net zero" must be done in a "better, more proportionate way".
It's "I'm the only grown up in the room" language.
Yet it's obvious. If we were responding in a "proportionate" way, we'd be on a war footing.
We would, to use the terminology of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, be doing "everything, everywhere all at once."
Acting as if our house is on fire.
But there's no war footing here - other than ongoing culture war.
But here's a thing.
Amidst everything he's getting wrong, he's perhaps very nearly getting something right.
We have to think very carefully about how the green transition impacts on people - in particular people on low incomes.
The green transition needs to be a just transition.
If we take Doughnut Economics as our guide, "....a far bigger goal is needed: meeting the human rights of every person within the means of our life-giving planet..... It is time to discover how to thrive in balance."
And this, obviously is where I will diverge from the Prime Minister. The logic seems to be that if we go down this path towards net zero it will inevitably lead to people suffering financially. (They'll say they're most concerned about the poorest amongst us - I'm not so sure - but let's leave that for now).
That can't be allowed to happen, the political argument goes. Therefore we must dilute and delay.
But who says it's inevitable that the things we need to do will impact so severely on the poorest amongst us?
Could different political choices be made? On taxation for example?
Of course they could.
And is blatantly obvious that the more we delay, the more we dilute, the more it will end up costing us all, eventually?
Of course it is.
A society with such deeply ingrained inequality will really struggle to do what's needed to give us all a fighting chance of survival.
For two main reasons.
One is that the many, many people in this country and across the world who don't have what they need to live a decent life (in other words who aren't seeing their basic human rights met) have got more immediate things to worry about - meeting their basic, daily needs.
The other reason is that we can't afford the high-consumption, highly-polluting lifestyles of the richest in society.
Now I know there's plenty of detail to unpick there, including around how we define rich and poor on a global scale.
But I believe my basic point is correct - a society with such ingrained inequality is not well placed to respond to the most serious crisis we've ever faced.
So what do we do?
Now there's a question.
Which I'm afraid won't be answered in a short Substack post.
But if you're looking for a starting point, I'd definitely recommend reading Doughnut Economics - and its focus on working towards a "safe and just space for humanity".
Or perhaps watch this series of short YouTube videos.
Starting with chapter 1 - "Change The Goal".